New Delhi: Government Monday took a series of steps, including strengthening of forecasting capabilities, advance information on quakes and landslides, maintaining road and telecommunication networks, to deal with natural disasters and reduce causalities.
The decisions were taken at the meeting of National Disaster Management Authority chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and attended by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, vice chairman of NDM M Shashidhar Reddy and top officials of the government
A committee, headed by Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, will work out detailed action plans including data sharing, coordination and issuing of alerts and forecasts of natural disasters.
The committee will give advance information about earthquake, landslides, cloud burst, flash floods, urban flooding besides others, Reddy said.
To improve communication infrastructure, the government has decided to put in place a framework consisting of satellite phones, air transportable mobile BTS, satellite- linked telephone booths. This is to ensure that in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, it helps response agencies and provides the common public an opportunity to convey to the outside world about their condition.
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has been asked to explore the possibility of deploying satellite-based communication network for western Himalayan region and this will be extended to all the hill regions in the country.
Immediate acquisition of adequate number of satellite phones (akin to INMARSAT variety) will be considered, as a national reserve kept centrally, for use by rescue and relief agencies during disasters. States may be encouraged to procure and maintain a minimum number of satellite phones.